Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Therapy

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Therapy

People with Borderline Personality Disorder are the psychological equivalent of third-degree-burn patients. Lacking emotional skin, the slightest touch or movement can create immense agony.

Dr. Martha Linehan

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can often feel like a roller coaster ride

But not the fun kind of coaster found at Six Flags.

More like a ride full of tumultuous ups and downs and sudden turns, affecting you and all those involved in your life.

Borderline Personality Disorder creates instability in relationships, emotional dysregulation, and a distorted self-image, which can be both terrifying and painful. 

The consequences of this debilitating disorder can include both emotional and physical turmoil, which can have a long-lasting impact on your well-being. 

People with Borderline Personality Disorder live in constant fear of abandonment or rejection, which sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Because the more you fear something, the more likely your actions will manifest them into reality. 

For example, if you’re deeply afraid that your friends and family may abandon you, you might start checking up on them incessantly.

The excess of attention can make people feel uncomfortable, causing them to distance themselves from you—the very thing you didn’t want to happen in the first place.

Even though your actions may lead to painful consequences, we are here to remind you that it is not your fault.

BPD is a result of severe trauma or biological dispositions that begin in childhood.

That’s why it’s crucial to find a reliable therapist that you can lean on. 

And that’s why we are here.

Below are some common warning signs that it’s time to seek professional help.


SYMPTOMS OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

The DSM-5 emphasizes these points in diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions, and marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  • Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending excessive money, reckless driving, sex, substance abuse, binge eating).
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
  • Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., irritability or anxiety lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.


OUR APPROACH TO BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BDP) TREATMENT

At My LA Therapy, our therapists are trained to help you heal your underlying trauma, so that you can begin to develop a more resilient sense of self and create lasting, stable relationships. 

We will teach you how to implement practical skills for emotional regulation and address distorted thought patterns that are contributing to your anxiety, depression, relationship, and self-esteem issues. 

Most importantly, we will gently help you face and overcome your past trauma so that you can heal and get your life back!

Sound like a plan?

Read on to get to know some of the most effective techniques we use to tackle BPD head on:

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This technique has proven to be the most effective for Borderline Personality Disorder. It incorporates mindfulness training and focuses on how to control intense emotions, reduce self-destructive behavior, manage distress, and improve relationships. 

DBT seeks a balance between accepting and changing behaviors. This proactive, problem-solving approach was designed specifically to treat BPD. Treatment includes individual therapy sessions, skills training in a group therapy setting, and phone coaching as needed. 

Mentalization-based therapy (MBT): This talk therapy helps people identify and understand what others might be thinking and feeling to create more empathy and more effective ways of relating to and communicating with others.

Transference-focused therapy (TFP): This form of therapy is designed to help patients understand their emotions and interpersonal problems through the relationship between patient and therapist. We explore our feelings and reactions within the therapy relationship and experience a new way of relating with one another, ultimately resulting in a corrective emotional experience. As time goes on, you begin to internalize this new way of feeling safe and relating to others and can carry these new skills and insights into your life outside of therapy. Using transference and the relationship to generate insight and healing is a major part of most psychodynamic therapists’ repertoires and this methodology is not unique to TFP. 

Good Psychiatric Management: Good Psychiatric Management provides mental health professionals an easy-to-adopt “tool box” for patients with personality disorders.

Medications: Although meds don’t cure Borderline Personality Disorder, they can help people with BPD feel more stable and grounded. In addition, they may treat other conditions that often accompany the disorder, such as depression, impulsivity, and anxiety. People with BPD are encouraged to talk with their prescribing doctor about what to expect from each medication and its side effects. 

Nutrition Therapy: More and more, studies are finding connections between the gut and mental health. In some cases, using targeted nutrition therapy (vitamins, minerals, and supplements) can be as or more effective than medication. New research is continually be generated and the knowledge in the emerging field of Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition is rapidly developing. Working with a specialist who can help you tailor your diet and supplementation routine is a good alternative for those who do not wish to explore medication. Visit our Functional Nutrition Therapy and Holistic Therapy and our Nutrition Therapy Research pages for more information. 

Self-Care: This includes regular exercise, good sleep habits, taking medications or supplements as prescribed, and healthy stress management. Good self-care can help to reduce common symptoms of BPD such as mood changes, impulsive behavior, and irritability.

BPD can be a very confusing and isolating disorder. But we are here to help you realize that there is help available and you don’t have to do it alone. 


OUR BPD THERAPY METHODS

The good news is, therapy can successfully alleviate Borderline Personality Disorder by helping you minimize the effects of emotional dysregulation in your life, identify and change underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your mood disorder, and provide you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

To experience true and lasting joy in our life, we must face and conquer our pain by healing our underlying trauma and confronting our demons. 

It’s not easy. But it’s worth it.  

See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process. 

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective for overcoming mood and personality disorders.

Through treatment techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and Psychodynamic Therapy, we can help you take the correct direction in making the lifestyle changes that can allow you to manage your BPD and heal from the often dramatic blows it takes to your self-trust, relationships, and functioning. 

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 


WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A BPD EXPERT NOW

If you have any questions, contact one of our borderline personality specialists for a free consultation any time.


RESOURCES

  1. BPD.org

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Therapists

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